Liscannor is a small fishing village north of Lahinch and south of Doolin. The name comes from the Irish Lios Ceannúir – Fort of Connor. It is the closest village to the Cliffs of Moher and well-known for its quaint pubs and great seafood.
The village has given its name to a particular type of very black stone – a variety of flagstone and sandstone which bears the fossil tracks of marine animals that lived millions of years ago. It is split into thick slate-like slabs and used locally for floors, patios, paths, walls and as a roofing material.
In the early 1900’s there was a thriving quarrying industry for this stone in the area employing 500 men in at least nine quarries. Liscannor was one of the busiest of the small ports along the west coast of Ireland with shipments of its stone to London and Liverpool. However, the advent of World War 1 put an end to all the prosperity and when the boats were unable to travel, the mines closed. In the 1960’s a number of mines reopened and are still producing the famous stone today.
John P Holland – Inventor of the Submarine
Liscannor’s most famous son, John Phillip Holland was born in 1841. He emigrated to America, where he went on to invent the world’s first submarine in 1877, quite an achievement for a 36 year old!
St Brigid’s Well
Some 3km north-west of Liscannor on the road to the Cliffs of Moher stands a tall pillar, O’Brien’s Monument, dedicated to Cornelius O’Brien M.P. This was supposedly erected in his honour by his “loyal” tenants in 1853.
Right beside it is the Holy Well of St Brigid. The water is reputed to have healing properties and is much revered locally. Open-air mass is celebrated here on St Brigid’s Day, February 1st.